Letter from the son of a Texas pioneer sent to a sister in Rhode Island which includes information about the construction of Gonzales College, franked with a scarce 3-cent Washington stamp (Scott #10A). Wm D. H. Peck.
Letter from the son of a Texas pioneer sent to a sister in Rhode Island which includes information about the construction of Gonzales College, franked with a scarce 3-cent Washington stamp (Scott #10A)

Letter from the son of a Texas pioneer sent to a sister in Rhode Island which includes information about the construction of Gonzales College, franked with a scarce 3-cent Washington stamp (Scott #10A)

Gonzales, Texas: 1851. Envelope or Cover. This two-page folded letter was written on September 18, 1851. It was franked with a three-cent orange-brown Washington stamp (Scott #10A) and received a manuscript postmark that reads, “Gonzales / Sept 20th”. The letter was missent to Bristol, Pennsylvania where it received a circular red postmark dated October 10 and a manuscript annotation “Missent & forward” before it was sent on to Bristol, Rhode Island. The letter is in nice shape. A transcript will be provided. The Peck family presence in Texas began in 1831, when Nicholas Peck purchased four tracts of land and settled in Gonzales. He was the Gonzales representative to the Texas Independence Consultation of 1835 and served in the Texas Republican Army, fighting at San Jacinto. After he died in 1838, most of his large family returned to Bristol, however two sons, Benjamin and William, remained on the Gonzales homestead and operated a very successful mercantile business. Benjamin, who the younger William mentions in this letter, fought in the Texas-Indian Wars, but was in poor health by the beginning of the Civil War. His younger brother William, who wrote this letter, joined a volunteer company under the command of General Ben McCulloch and helped capture the San Antonio and Indianola. He formally enlisted and served as an officer in both the Texas Volunteers and Waul’s Legion. He campaigned throughout Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida and fought under General Forrest at the Battle of Fort Pillow. Following the war, William returned to Gonzales. (See the on-line website, Sons of Dewitt Colony.) In this letter, William remarks on his rather mundane life and an exceptionally dry spell of weather, “news is out this way wal there is none as usual except that we have had a fine rain and that is something new for we hav not had any of account before since last May . . . everything was dryed up before the rain”. More importantly, he reports with pride, that construction of what would become Gonzales College had begun, “they are progressing rapidly with the Collage they hav got the Rock nearly all Hauled I think thay wil get through next Saturday night”. Gonzales was one of the first Anglo-American settlements in Texas west of the Colorado River. It has been referred to as the ‘Lexington of Texas’ as it was the site of the first fight in Texas Revolution when 18 citizens repulsed a Mexican force of over 100 who attempted to seize the town’s cannon, which had been present to them by the Mexican government several years before. Gonzales College was one of the earliest Texas institutions of higher education. In 1851, stones from Peach Creek were hauled to the building site by ox-cart and construction of the school’s beautiful two-story building began. Classes began in 1853 with 50 male students, and two years later after a second building was erected, the colleges enrolled women as well, granting Bachelor of Arts degrees to its first women students in 1857. (See The Handbook of Texas Online.). Very good. Item #009392

Price: $250.00

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